In the June 19 Banner, official publication of the Christian Reformed Church, Contributing Editor James C. Schaap picks a bone with Billy Graham about one of the ways todays foremost Protestant evangelist has kept himself scandal-free: Graham studiously avoids ever being in a room alone with any woman other than his wife. Not even female personal secretaries have occasion to take notes or review agendas without someone else present for the discussion. A Catholic might say that Graham is avoiding occasions of sin.
Is Schaap nitpicking? He obviously doesnt think so. He furrows his brow and worries that Grahams three-is-not-a-crowd rule of thumb has kept him from understanding something of the nature of temptation and from fully understanding his own humanness. Would that fallen Catholic priests, religious, and bishops had observed some kind of three-is-not-a-crowd rule! It might have saved them, their victims (willing or unwilling), and the Bride of Christ incalculable suffering or shame or both.
Schaap asks if Graham gives anything up by creating a workaday world in which he cannot be alone with a member of the opposite sex. Schaaps answer: I think he does intimacy.
Anticipating incredulity on the part of his readers, Schaap quickly attempts to clarify: But intimacy means more, surely, than sexuality.
You have two options:
- Online subscription: Subscribe now to New Oxford Review for access to all web content at newoxfordreview.org AND the monthly print edition for as low as $38 per year.
- Single article purchase: Purchase this article for $1.95, for viewing and printing for 48 hours.
If you're already a subscriber log-in here.